I had the wonderful pleasure last night of being invited to a sneak peek of Las Vegas’ newest local brewery, CraftHaus. The grand opening is slated for this weekend, and you can find more info on the special event here.
CraftHaus is located in Henderson in The Booze District. For the past year and a half, I’ve been communicating back and forth with owners Dave and Wyndee Forrest, regarding CraftHaus, and its so exciting to finally see it open and brewing beer!
First things first: The beer is fantastic. You’ve likely had some of Dave’s home-brewed batches if you have attended some of the local beer festivals the past couple of years. Now the recipes have been scaled up to 10 barrel batches by head brewer Steph Cope. Steph, the first and only female head brewer in Nevada, did a great job keeping the beers true to Dave’s original recipes, while also fine tuning them to perfection. Evocation Saison in particular was what stood out to me. With only 4.7% alcohol, the beer is very light bodied and dry, but still manages to fit in a lot of Belgian yeast characteristics. I think this beer will be perfect for not only the hot Vegas summers, but the fruity esters, clove phenolics, and dry body would make this perfect to pair with food.
I should also state though that what makes this brewery so exciting isn’t just the beer. Nor is it the clean, modern taproom, filled with board games, a chalkboard, and several cuckoo clocks. It’s the people behind the brewery.
“We don’t want you to think of this as our brewery. We want you to think of this as your brewery.”
-Dave and Wyndee Forrest
It’s been about a year and a half since I first met Dave and Wyndee. I interviewed them in their home as they were launching their Kickstarter campaign to finish up their funding phase, and lately I’ve been rereading some of the interviews I’ve had with them. In all of my conversations with them, they’ve been focused on the community here in Las Vegas. They’ve first and foremost wanted to create a space that people wanted to be at; whether it’s to meet up with friends, get some work done, or even to rent out the space for a private event. And of course, they are passionate about beer. They have always discussed how important beer education is to them, not only for themselves, but to also pass on to others.
All of this also rings true in Steph, as well as Steve Brockman, CraftHaus’ research and design brewer. Every conversation I’ve had with them has been about meticulously crafting each beer one step at a time; whether it’s brewing the same beer with different yeast strains or identifying what aspect of hop bitterness they want to change in an IPA.
Not content to rest on their laurels, the team already has their future mapped out. Space is already made in the brewery for additional fermentors, discussions on how they want to package their beer are underway, upcoming barrel aged beers are in the works, and more.
After they surpassed their Kickstarter goal last summer, we exchanged a short interview about their next steps. The full interview is here, but the below quote stood out to me:
Hooked on Hops: Aside from the actual grand opening, what are you most excited about with opening CraftHaus?
Wyndee: Building a community. Getting to know the people around us and offering them our hard work in a pint glass. Educating people about craft beer is our passion. We love to talk, share, and learn about craft beer. Everything from the brewing process, ingredients, history, tasting, pairing…there is so much we have to share and we still love learning too.